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Old 11-14-2002, 05:47 PM   #1
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How involved is U2 in their remixes?

When a U2 song is remixed, how does that work exactly -- does anyone know? What I mean is, does U2 just hand over the song to some remixer and let him do as he wishes? Or is it more of a collaboration, with the band sitting in, making suggestions, etc?

I notice there are some things totally exclusive to their remixes: Bono's vocal on the Junk Day remix of "Dirty Day," for example -- that point where he screams "wake up!" was not on the album version. Or the "big black" rap he does on the Howie B remix of "Discotheque" -- wow, where did that come from? You think Bono redoes his vocal for these remixes, or that the remixer has access to all the tapes and just digs up some alternate take?

And there are other additions that seem to be completely the work of the remixer rather than anyone in the band -- like that long keyboard solo on the Deep Extended "Discotheque" (it's pretty great) or, obviously, the strings on the More Dignity mix of "Numb." Etcetera.

I know these questions might be hard to answer, but I just know you can do it -- enlighten me, people!
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Old 11-14-2002, 07:41 PM   #2
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What a great question that is. This is of great interest to me as well. Me and my friend have always wondered about alternate vocals, etc, and how they are put in the remix. Sorry, I don't have any answers but hopefully someone can shed some light on this, extremely mysterious topic of remixes. I used to DJ in Toronto and even then I had no idea how the big acts remix their songs., like I said , mysterious.

And for my money, Junk Day is one of their best remixes, New York Nasty a close second.
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Old 11-14-2002, 08:27 PM   #3
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I've been wondering this too! It seems like it's only a new Bono vocal, some background singers, a synthesizer, and a disco producer. No band involved at all. You can barely hear the band in many of them.


Ok, enlighten us please.
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Old 11-14-2002, 09:13 PM   #4
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I think it depends on which remix is in question. obviously, the remix of "gone", for example, has the whole band in the studio working on the tune. now, they may have kept the original bass and drum tracks and then redid the guitars and vocals, etc. But for something like this, probably the whole band is involved.
then on something like the dance remixes, I'm willing to say adam and larry aren't involved in the least. probably edge and bono in the studio w/ a producer/mixer making suggestions and then leaving for him to do his thing. whether there's additional vocals required is up to bono and the producer probably.
so, 2 types of scenarios:
1. remixing for the best of: whole band in studio, with or without producer, fixing the things they don't like and re-recording parts and keeping certain original tracks.
2. "dance' remixes where it depends more on the producer. I think u2 choose a producer that they like and give him a guide and then let him do his thing, maybe changing things he did later.





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Old 11-15-2002, 07:50 AM   #5
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A lot of artists, including U2, give the original master tapes of a song to a remixer to work with.

The tapes include numerous vocal & instrumental takes of the songs.

The remixer will often sample the original bassline, guitar riff r& in the case of many U2 remixes, a vocal not used in the final mix of the original song. The remixer then multi-tracks these original elements with new production of his/her own.


For example, with the Dirty Day remixes, most likely Butch Vig sampled the acapella of Bono screaming "wake up" from an alternative take of Dirty Day that was on the master tapes given to him by U2.
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Old 11-15-2002, 07:55 AM   #6
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Thanks for your thoughts, Jofo. (Yeah, I meant the "dance" remixes, not the Best Of's remixes of POP songs, which are obviously group efforts.) Thanks also, Zargo.

So if a remixer has this big cache of alternate takes to work with, the remixes really offer a great window on U2's own creative process -- they're a great opportunity to glimpse all sorts of unused ideas, earlier drafts, etc.

It can be tough to say where U2's work ends and the remixer's work begins. At what point in a given mix did the remixer stop using U2-provided tracks and simply go off on his own? That's what baffles me.

I hope a few more people will weigh in on this topic before it disappears down the list -- 'cause I'm really curious about this!
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Old 11-15-2002, 08:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zargo
A lot of artists, including U2, give the original master tapes of a song to a remixer to work with.

The tapes include numerous vocal & instrumental takes of the songs.

The remixer will often sample the original bassline, guitar riff r& in the case of many U2 remixes, a vocal not used in the final mix of the original song. The remixer then multi-tracks these original elements with new production of his/her own.


For example, with the Dirty Day remixes, most likely Butch Vig sampled the acapella of Bono screaming "wake up" from an alternative take of Dirty Day that was on the master tapes given to him by U2.
Wow! This is short, sweet, to the point, and really interesting!
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Old 11-15-2002, 11:25 AM   #8
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yes, good post
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Old 11-15-2002, 12:01 PM   #9
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this question has bothered me for some time.

some remixes are great. especially when they change the tempo, vocals and instruments. but i detest many so-called dance mixes. i would guess and actually hope that u2 would not be responsible. i'm talking about the ones where they take that drum machine and maybe bass and have it run for about 5 minutes with the same beat over and over. if at that point you were asked to name that tune in 5 notes or less you could come up with about 10,000 similar songs. then after that you'll hear a voice saying the same two or three words over and over throughout the song. this stuff is junk and won't stand the test of time at all. i know i will get negative response on this, but 'new york nasty mix' is an example (not as bad as some others) of what i'm talking about. any 13 year old with some software can make the same thing. we had quite a few of them in the achtung baby era.
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Old 11-15-2002, 08:38 PM   #10
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Re: this question has bothered me for some time.

Quote:
Originally posted by sphere
some remixes are great. especially when they change the tempo, vocals and instruments. but i detest many so-called dance mixes. i would guess and actually hope that u2 would not be responsible. i'm talking about the ones where they take that drum machine and maybe bass and have it run for about 5 minutes with the same beat over and over. if at that point you were asked to name that tune in 5 notes or less you could come up with about 10,000 similar songs. then after that you'll hear a voice saying the same two or three words over and over throughout the song. this stuff is junk and won't stand the test of time at all. i know i will get negative response on this, but 'new york nasty mix' is an example (not as bad as some others) of what i'm talking about. any 13 year old with some software can make the same thing. we had quite a few of them in the achtung baby era.
Totally with you on those damn disco remixes. Hate 'em. Do.
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Old 11-16-2002, 06:09 AM   #11
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I read an interview during the Popmart era (with Adam or Bono - I forget) that they just send the vocal track to the DJ and it's up to him what to do. Obviously he was talking about REMIXES (which was predominant in the Popmart era) which should not be confused with EDITS and SINGLE MIXES. So in short, U2 isn't really involved with the remixes except for sending the vocal track.

Cheers,

J
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